Prather’s Pick: Back to school with Rappy
We live in a world that is becoming more and more dependent on electronics, leading some people to believe that books, as we know them, will cease to be; everyone will read electronically. However, following the summer reading program, the Moffat County Libraries have numbers to suggest that readers aren’t ready to give up bound books with pages to turn quite yet.
During the 2016 summer reading program at the Craig branch of the Moffat County Libraries, a total of 667 people participated. Of these, there were 168 adults, 122 teens and 377 children. The all-branch total was 720. According to Christy Gonzales, librarian at the Moffat County Library, this was the highest participation number in at least 10 years.
The winter reading program for the Moffat County Libraries will begin Nov. 1, 2016.
This week’s column celebrates back-to-school with “Rappy Goes to School,” a picture book for children. It was written by Dan Gutman and illustrated by Tim Bowers. The book is published by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinPublishers.
Rappy is a cute raptor who happens to love rap, thus his name. He has a long, fat nose, long tail, button-like teeth that become sharp as he grows up and three feathers on his head.
As the story begins, Rappy joins his family at the breakfast table. Mother is pouring coffee and serving muffins. Dad has his head buried behind “The Dino Daily” newspaper, and baby sister, Riley, devours her muffin.
Rappy can hardly contain himself since it’s the first day of school.
“What’s today’s date? I don’t want to be late. The first day of school, is gonna be cool.”
The entire story is told in rhyme.
However, on the way to school (Mother wears her colored glasses as she drives the car) Rappy starts to lose it. Will he make any friends? What will his teacher be like? Rappy feels as though he’s losing his mind.
At school, Rappy and his other prehistoric classmates sit at their desks, with stone slab tops, and wait for their teacher. Each student wears a nametag.
Then Mrs. Hooperlooper walks in. She’s one big dinosaur, “a huge and terrifying and creature,” with two horns on top of her head and two horns on her nose, one pointing up and one pointing down. She has a sort of collar for a neck. For the start of school Mrs. Hooperlooper wears a black skirt, pink and white shirt, and a pair of pink shoes that are decorated with yellow flowers.
First of all, the students play a game to get to know one another. The students say their names and what they like to do. When a student named Chris, who “looks like he is 17,” makes fun of a little bird-like dinosaur named Adrian, Rappy jumps up and starts his rapping rhyme. Pretty soon all of the kids have joined in, and Adrian has forgotten all about the class bully.
Then the teacher says it’s time for spelling. Rappy isn’t good at spelling so this time it’s Adrian’s turn to help his friend.
There’s a message in this book about bullying, and it comes straight from Mrs. Hooperlooper’s mouth. Chris gets his comeuppance, too.
The end pages of the book are decorated with the pictures of back-to-school items that have been drawn on slate tablets.
“Rappy Goes to School” is a new (2016) book. The hardcover book sells for $17.99 or you can find the book at the Craig branch of Moffat County Libraries.
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